Monthly Archive

Rett Syndrome: Links to Disorders Beyond Autism Spectrum

1st January, 2008

All material Copyright© 2008-2010 Rett Syndrome Research Trust
Reprinted with the express permission of Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) as originally published on their Website.
Due to the varied constellation of symptoms that make up Rett Syndrome, it is becoming a model system for scientists to gain insight into other disorders.
Movement disorders
Individuals with Rett Syndrome are afflicted with movement disorders such as tremor, dystonia, dyskinesia and impaired motor planning similar to the degeneration seen in Parkinson’s disease. In Rett and in Parkinson’s, problems in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic systems result in extreme physical disability.
Depression and anxiety
In addition to dopamine, serotonin is also affected in Rett Syndrome. Serotonin levels impact mood, anxiety and sleep. Many individuals with Rett suffer from bouts of extreme anxiety, agitation and possible depression (actual diagnosis limited by communication barriers) as well as sleep-cycle issues.
Stress disorders
The “fight or flight” response, mediated by the autonomic nervous system and intricately linked with brain and immune system functions, is disturbed in Rett Syndrome. Finding the sources and tracing the transmission of this imbalance will add to knowledge of the physiology of stress.
Featured Organization: Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) 
Rett Syndrome Research Trust is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization intensively focused on the development of treatments and cures for Rett Syndrome and related MECP2 disorders. The strength of the Trust is based on the guidance of founders and advisors who are largely responsible for the major advances in Rett research over the past decade.
Please support our contributing organizations and visit Rett Syndrome Research Trust

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